Today, our community resides in Klemtu, on the east side of Swindle Island on BC’s central coast (about 500km north of Vancouver), in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. We have 517 band members, 319 of whom live on reserve. Our village is served by two grocery stores, a post office, cafe, community sports facility, bighouse, and a health clinic.
In the 1860s, our two distinct nations came together in Klemtu: the Kitasoo Nation of the islands and the Xai’xais Nation of the mainland. In addition to coming from different geographies, the Kitasoo and the Xai’xais didn’t speak the same language prior to the introduction of English. The Kitasoo are the southernmost group of the Tsimshianic language family and speak Sgüüxs (a southern dialect). The Xai’xais are part of the Wakashan language family and speak Xai’xais.
Our economy is based mainly on resources, particularly ecotourism through the Spirit Bear Lodge, fish farms, hatcheries and processing, and timber harvesting.
We experience a typical maritime climate with mild temperatures and very high rainfall in winter, and warm summers. Klemtu is known for being a particularly friendly village, and new arrivals can expect a warm greeting from the locals. The town stretches out along Trout Bay, surrounded by the ancient forests, deep oceans, and coastal fjords that make this part of the world internationally famous for its wild beauty.